Mmmm, donuts. When I was 13, my friend and I would ride our bikes around the corner to the back door of a little house-turned-bakery that dispensed these delectables warm and slathered with chocolate. In high school, all giggles and schemes, I started a Friday rotation in my German class so that nary a week went by without these cakey treats. College in New England meant there was always a Dunkin’ D in any given sight line, and the corporate world wouldn’t survive without a sleek white bakery box to prop up the coffee pot.
I loved the jelly filled sort most, airy cake plumped full of raspberry goo and so liberally dusted with powdered sugar that it left a trail down my shirt. Later I discovered the sour cream cake version, so heavy with secret fatty goodness that you could see its footprint on any surface it touched. Mmmm, donuts.
But I don’t eat them any more.
Somewhere along the line, I realized that after my eyes rolled back into their proper positions, the rest of my body did not share the euphoria of my taste buds. Five minutes after my last bite, these little goodies would make me feel miserable. I’m pretty sure that their delicious goodness frolicked on my taste buds solely to create a diversion, allowing their more nefarious companions to sneak past my tongue and turn my insides to sludge.
It took me thirty years to discover the ruse, but once I caught on, I quit cold turkey–and I have never regretted it. It wasn’t even hard to do. I just planted my flag in the sand and declared, “I don’t eat donuts.” It was like flipping a switch in my head; I can walk by the most beautiful display of eclairs with nary a flutter of temptation.
Lest you think that my point rests solely in the hollow space of a Krispy Kreme, I challenge you (and myself) to wipe the glaze from your glasses and look for your donut. What tastes good but feels bad? I’ll bet we can all make a long list of items that have nothing to do with food. The trick is learning how to say no.
(Check out this terrific post from marcandangel.com if you need some inspiration.)